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Why are we poor?- Is it our Defence

nightcrawler

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Why are we poor?
Dr Farrukh Saleem*

India plus Pakistan is 20 percent of humanity. India plus Pakistan is a mere 5 percent of world income. India plus Pakistan have 45 percent of world's illiterates. India plus Pakistan have 50 percent of all malnourished children. India just by itself has the world's largest number of poor
people in a single country. In absolute terms, at least 50 million Pakistanis and 350 million Indians live in extreme poverty (must earn during the day to eat dinner).
Some 60 years ago, Mahatma Gandhi, the Bapu of all Indians, had said, "Poverty is but the worst form of violence." Look at present-day Bombay. The city has ten million people and is the financial capital of India. Four million of the ten million live in rough-and-tumble fabrications of bamboo, plastic, wood and tin. At least a million live and sleep on footpaths. For the rest of India, poverty remains a Himalayan problem. Which one of the 14 prime ministers has done anything to
save Indians from the worst form of violence?
On 9 August 1947, Quaid-i-Azam, the father of our country, delivered a speech at the Karachi Club. The Quaid asserted that it is the "scared duty of the Sovereign State of Pakistan to solve the problem of poverty of the people." Which one of our 11 presidents or 19 prime ministers has paid any attention to the Quaid's pledge? Look at present-day Rojhan Jamali, the birthplace of our
Prime Minister Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali. Out of all of PM's constituents the lifetime goal of at least 90% is to own a Rs2,000 goat.
What really is poverty? According to the World Bank, "Poverty is hunger. Poverty is lack of shelter. Poverty is being sick and not being able to see a doctor. Poverty is not being able to go to school and not knowing how to read. Poverty is not having a job, is fear for the future, living one
day at a time. Poverty is losing a child to illness brought about by unclean water. Poverty is powerlessness, lack of representation and freedom." Both India and Pakistan have all these forms
of poverty. Why are we so poor?
Over the last 5 years, India has spent $4.2 billion and Pakistan $2.6 billion on the importation of major conventional weapons. For India that converts to $4 on a per capita basis and $19 for every Pakistani man, woman and child. India and Pakistan remained the poorest of all countries but India is now the 5th largest importer of major conventional weapons while Pakistan is the 12th largest.
Pakistan is poor because we have enriched China Metallurgical Equipment Corporation, Lockheed Martin (a billion dollars for F-16s, P-3 Orion, etc) and Raytheon (Stingers, sidewinders and TOW missiles). Over the past 5 years, we have deposited $1.024 billion into Chinese coffers, $650 million has gone to Ukraine, $400 million to France and $250 million each to the UK and the US.
India is poor because she has been enriching Rosoboronexport, Russia's arms exporting corporation. Most of India's defence kitty has gone to Russia; $3 billion over the past 5 years alone. The Netherlands took in $350 million and Germany another $210 million.

We shall continue to be poor. Under the long-term Indo-Russian military technical cooperation programme there are some 350 new defence deals in the pipeline-including the production of Lada class diesel submarines, Gorshkov aircraft carrier, TU-22M long-range bombers, Akula-II class nuclear submarines and AWACS. Total tab: $4 billion. Then there is the BAE Systems Hawk jet deal with the UK. These 60 Hawks have a price tag of a billion pound sterling which is the equivalent of nearly ten years of India-UK bilateral trade. India's neighbour has billion dollar Agostas so India must also buy Scorpene 'killer submarines'. France wins both in India and in Pakistan.
More recently, Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) signed a two billion dollar weapons contract with Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL). The contract covers $280 million for surface-to-surface naval Barak missiles, $300 million for pilot-less planes, $250 million for Green Pine radar systems, Phalcon early-warning aircraft and towed howitzer for the Indian army. The US, in the meanwhile, has established a tourist-cum-investor 'no fly zone' over Pakistan while our armament wish list remains heavier than our GDP. Short range ballistic missiles, intermediate range ballistic missiles, F-16 fighters, surveillance aircraft, Harpoon missiles, long-range weapon-locating radars, rocket fuel, anti-tank missiles and combat helicopters. Additional
Main Battle Tanks (MBT) are going to cost $1.5 billion. The PAF wants a multi-billion dollar package covering Mirage 2000-5s and then there's F7-P4 aircraft from China and gunship helicopters. Spare parts from the US are also high
on our wish list.

Just who is profiting from the sale of all these machines of death and destruction? The top ten exporters of conventional weapons are USA, Russia, France, UK, Germany, Netherlands, Ukraine, Italy, China and Belarus. The top corporate merchants of death are Lockheed Martin (USA), Boeing (USA), BAE Systems (UK), Raytheon (USA), Northrop Grumman (USA), General Dynamics (USA) and Thomson-CSF (France).
When the poverty-ridden East fills West's craving for drugs there is talk of 'supply control'. The West remains the chief pretender of virtue but is the largest seller of arms to the East. The US, for instance, accounts for a full 50% of the world trade in arms.
Conflict and poverty are the closest of relatives. Look at Ethiopia, Sierra Leone, Afghanistan, Cambodia, Somalia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Haiti, Mozambique, Mali, India or Angola. They are all in conflict-either within or with their neighbours-and they are all poor. Peace is an essential prerequisite to prosperity. Without peace there can't be any poverty alleviation.
India's economy is 800% the size of ours. On a per capita basis, we have a record of spending 500% more on arms imports than does India. Which country is likely to run out of resources first?
Just who is most likely to win without firing a shot? There certainly are no prizes for getting these
riddles right.


* originally posted at Jang Group Online Editions
 

fatman17

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^^^lets be careful what this author suggests. this is simplifying a lot of things.

take agriculture as an example. each year 24 MAF of water merges or flows into the arabian sea, completely wasted. this quantity of water is enough to provide sustenence or irrigate at least one of the crop seasons per year- kharif or rabi - result = poor water management by the govt. no new canals have been built since the british left india. no new dams are being built to store this wasted water and as a by-product generate hydel-power to fuel the industrial sector.

in our 60 years almost 60 billion USD worth of pledged aid has either lapsed or wasted for lack of proper planning and management.

so it is not the military alone to blame. we are unfortunately living in a rough neighbourhood. if defence is the only reason we are poor, then we should dismantle our armed forces to the level of a territorial force like the FC and allow us to be subserviant to our larger neighbour(s). this will release 5 to 10 billion USD per year to spend on education, medicare, jobs, infrastructure.

it is our choice!!!
 

roadrunner

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Pakistan can improve. It will improve, how much and how quickly is not known.

However it needs to have more visionary leaders. Not the same stuffy, corrupt ones. Same goes for India I would say.
 

Nihat

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Oct 23, 2008
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very difficult position wrt Poverty in India at least but to put in on Defence is over simplifying a tangled mess.

For long since our Socialist past , we have tried a Down-up approach to poverty i.e thrown money at the poorest section and ignored the top end with the result that money was lost in babudom and corruption.

Only when GoI opened up the economy , did the private sect begin to flourish and Govt. finally had the money to put into infrastructure in rural areas , we're still a long long way off. the mark though , another obvious factor being just too many people , almost impossible to handle with a loose and corrupt Bureaucracy at hand.

Defense has it's own place but Poverty has become rampant in India because of years of Ignorance and incorrect economic approach.
 

Proud2Indian

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Well India is spending bare minimum.....as fig itself says $4/person.....while Pakistan spends 4 time of that..i Guess (population) size is helping here
 

Omar1984

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we are unfortunately living in a rough neighbourhood.

Exactly. There's threats for Pakistan in every corner. We have arch rival India to our east and a war torn Afghanistan to our west.

If Pakistan lived in a neighborhood like Switzerland, Pakistan wouldn't spend so much money on defense but because of our rough neighborhood and our awful neighbor India, who is dreaming of wiping Pakistan off the map, Pakistanis have to make sacrafices to protect the country.
 

pama

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India did little better than Pak from 1990.
In 1990 Pak economy was 1/5 of india now it is 1/9.
In 1970 Pak per ca pita income is 340$, India is 230 and china is 180$ look at now figues.
India and china has over taken Pak in this respect.

all countries in alliance with US and British after world war two become rich and develped in there own right look at japan,Netherlands ,France,Germany but Pak in alliance with all of them from 1952 never made any big out of them.
Them pursued pak for there false propaganda in Afghan till chicken came home to roost.

Still we have forums there to discuss what type of governament is best for Pak.
What ligal system is best for pak?
should we implement islamic law in Pak?
All these after 60 years of independence :cheers:
It is high time to think and act diligently .
 

hasang20

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India did little better than Pak from 1990.
In 1990 Pak economy was 1/5 of india now it is 1/9.
In 1970 Pak per ca pita income is 340$, India is 230 and china is 180$ look at now figues.
India and china has over taken Pak in this respect.

all countries in alliance with US and British after world war two become rich and develped in there own right look at japan,Netherlands ,France,Germany but Pak in alliance with all of them never made any big out of them.
Them pursude pak for there false propaganda in Afghan till chicken came home to roost.

Still we have forums there to discuss what type of governament is best for Pak.
What ligal system is best for pak?
should we implement islamic law in Pak?
All these after 60 years of independence :cheers:

we have only 1 option Nuke you than no more economy.
 

pama

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we have only 1 option Nuke you than no more economy.

what else people coming from Palistine think other than that.
Having kicked many times on back by Israels for years you became complete paranoid.

get will soon :smitten:
 

omairhr

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I believe it is a natural historical cycle. We had greeks, egyptians, romans, persians, turks, etc as super powers and rest of the world in a poor state. Its time for the Caucasians to have some fun for a few hundred years while we suffer.

We are poor because we are used to being ruled by outsiders. The areas comprising India and Pakistan have been conquered and ruled by foreigners since 180 BC. India has been far superior than Pakistan in terms of learning 'self-rule'. Pakistan, to me, is still ruled by the 'gora sahab' in guise of 'brown sahab'.
 

Omar1984

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Well Pakistan's economy was booming from 2000-2007. Everything was working out great for Pakistan then its just that in these past two years...things went downhill.

Pakistan has loads of potential. Pakistan is the only country in the world thats a gateway to Middle East, Central Asia, China, and South Asia. I think after Musharaf started taking Gwadar Port seriously, many countries got jealous. I still remember Indian navy officer saying that hes really worried about Gwadar Port because that'll give Pakistan an edge over India.

Dont worry after a few years when Gwadar Port is complete...we'll see where Pakistan is.
 

nightcrawler

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so it is not the military alone to blame. we are unfortunately living in a rough neighbourhood. if defence is the only reason we are poor, then we should dismantle our armed forces to the level of a territorial force like the FC and allow us to be subserviant to our larger neighbour(s). this will release 5 to 10 billion USD per year to spend on education, medicare, jobs, infrastructure.

it is our choice!!!
Respected sir,
I do really agree with your point but do let me know that isn't defence the main parameter to be discussed with respect to economy I mean that if for instance we just declare Pakistan to bo non-nuclear zone (which we shouldn't) we will get inreturn a lot amount of foreign aid. Perhaps these agriculture & all these rough political decisions are linked with our foreign policy & USA never ever want to see Pakistan as a successful state i.e the big Boss is always out there to let you down whether you start Kalabagh dam or whatever> Tell me what we can do anyway!!
 

Xeric

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Lets also read this
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Xeric

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We are not poor by choice, its what the British left us with.

Well i do agree with you but i'll also like to complain that if you are worried abut with what the British left you with, how can you miss ouit with what Pakistan was left when it went independent?

With all the ordnance factories with india, cities like Calcutta, gurdaspur and junagrh went to india and the share in terms of money that Pakistan was supposed to receive (whih it never got to date)

i don't want to spark another argument here but just wanted to add that if inidan feels that they were left poor by the British, Pakistan had to suffer more!
 

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